Seton laptop stolen

February 19, 2007

By Andrea Ball, American-Statesman Staff

A laptop with 7,800 patient names, birth dates and Social Security numbers was stolen last week from the Seton hospital system.

Seton officials said the Dell computer was taken Friday from the information services department at 7715 Chevy Chase Drive, off Anderson Lane in North Austin. The laptop includes personal information on 7,800 uninsured patients who have gone to Seton emergency rooms and city health clinics since July 1, 2005.

The computer does not contain patient health information, said Greg Hartman, senior vice president of marketing and planning for the Seton Family of Hospitals.

He said that Seton is working with the Austin Police Department and that affected patients will be notified by letter.

"It's a very difficult situation," Hartman said. "We're very hopeful we can catch this thief."

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